University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Hopwood v. Texas ED-TX-0002
Docket / Court 1:92-cv-00563-SS ( W.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization MALDEF
Case Summary
On September 29, 1992, plaintiffs, white law school applicants denied admission to the University of Texas Law School, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the State of Texas, the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, the Law ... read more >
On September 29, 1992, plaintiffs, white law school applicants denied admission to the University of Texas Law School, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the State of Texas, the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, the Law School, and a number of individuals in their official capacities in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division (Judge Sam Sparks). The plaintiffs, represented by the Center for Individual Rights, asked the Court for injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that the defendants discriminated against them by favoring less qualified black and Mexican American applicants for admission to the University of Texas School of Law through the use of a quota system.

On October 28, 1993, the Court (Judge Sam Sparks), denied defendants' motions for summary judgment for lack of standing and ripeness and for one plaintiff's failure to maintain eligibility for admission.

A bench trial began on May 18, 1994. On August 19, 1994, the Court (Judge Sam Sparks) held that the 1992 admissions procedure violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Hopwood v. Texas, 861 F. Supp. 551; 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11870 (W.D. TX. August 19, 1994). The court ordered that:

(1) the plaintiffs could reapply and be considered for admission to the law school for the 1995-96 school year without assessment of fees; (2) plaintiffs receive damages in the amount of one dollar each; (3) all further affirmative relief requested by any party herein against any other party was denied including a motion by certain other individuals to intervene. (Docket No. 94-50569.)

On September 19, 1994, plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. On March 18, 1996, the Fifth Circuit (Judge Jeremy E. Smith), dismissed the intervenors' appeal for want of jurisdiction, reversed the judgment as to the initial plaintiffs, and remanded for further proceedings. Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F.3d 932; 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 4719 (5th Cir. 1996). The Fifth Circuit held that the University of Texas School of Law may not use race as a factor in determining admissions. The Court held that the plaintiffs had satisfied their burden of showing that they were scrutinized under an unconstitutional admissions system. The Fifth Circuit agreed that the plaintiffs were entitled to reapply, and directed the district court to reconsider the question of damages.

On June 24, 1996, the United States Supreme Court, granted petitioners' motion to consolidate their case with Thurgood Marshall Legal v. Hopwood, 116 S. Ct. 2580, 135 L.Ed. 2d 1094. Texas v. Hopwood, 518 U.S. 1016; 116 S. Ct. 2545 (1996).

On July 26, 1996, the Fifth Circuit, vacated the District Court opinion. Hopwood v. Texas, 95 F.3d 53; 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 22891 (5th Cir. 1996).

On March 20, 1998, on rehearing, the Court (Judge Sparks) entered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, and ordering damages in the amount of one dollar ($1.00) each, and enjoining Defendants from considering race in the admission process. The Court awarded plaintiffs $703,992 in attorneys' fees and $571,768 in costs. Hopwood v. Texas, 999 F. Supp. 872 (W.D. TX 1998).

On December 21, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit made findings on the District Court's decision on remand. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court finding that Texas had proved that the Plaintiffs would have had no reasonable chance of being offered admission to the Law School in 1992 under a constitutionally valid, race-blind admissions system. Further, the Court of Appeals found that the District Court failed to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 52(a) when it failed to provide findings of fact and conclusions of law to justify its injunction prohibiting absolutely the use of race as a factor in the admissions process. The Fifth Circuit reversed the court's grant of the injunction and remanded for further proceedings but affirmed the district court's rulings on attorneys' fees and costs. Hopwood v. Texas, 236 F.3d 256 (5th Cir. 2000.)

On January 17, 2001, the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit denied the petition for Panel Rehearing. Hopwood v. Texas, 248 F.3d 1141 (5th Cir. 2001).

On June 24, 2001, the United States Supreme Court (Judge William Rehnquist) denied the petition for certiorari. Hopwood v. Texas, 533 U.S. 929 (2001). On July 24, 2001, the District Court closed the file, finding no viable issues remaining to be litigated. Hopwood v. Texas, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10658 (W.D. TX 2001).

Stacey McClurkin - 09/29/2011

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Board of Regents of the Texas State University System
Members of the Board
State of Texas
Plaintiff Description Four white residents of Texas who were denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin Law School.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations MALDEF
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 1992
Case Closing Year 2001
Case Ongoing No
1:92-cv-00563 (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/30/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Hopwood v. Texas (District Court Denial of Motion to let Thurgood Marshall Legal Society and Black Pre-Law Association to Intervene as Defendants) (1994 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21546) (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0002-0008.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/20/1994
Source: LexisNexis
Hopwood v. Texas (Fifth Circuit Affirmation of Denial of Petitioner's Application to Intervene) (21 F.3d 603)
ED-TX-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/11/1994
Source: Google Scholar
Hopwood v. Texas (District Order Memorandum Opinion that 1992 Admission Procedure Violates 14th Opinion) (861 F.Supp. 551) (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/19/1994
Source: Google Scholar
Hopwood v. Texas (Fifth Circuit Remand to District Court) (78 F.3d 932)
ED-TX-0002-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/18/1996
Source: Google Scholar
Hopwood v. Texas (Fifth Circuit Opinion Denial of Rehearing En Banc) (84 F.3d 720)
ED-TX-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/04/1996
Source: Google Scholar
Texas v. Hopwood (Supreme Court Grant Motion to Consider Petition with Thurgood Marshall Legal v. Hopwood) (518 U.S. 1016)
ED-TX-0002-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/24/1996
Source: Westlaw
Texas v. Hopwood (U.S. Supreme Court Denial of Writ of Certiorari) (518 U.S. 1033)
ED-TX-0002-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/01/1996
Source: LexisNexis
Hopwood v. Texas (Fifth Circuit Opinion Vacating District Court Opinion) (95 F.3d 53)
ED-TX-0002-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/26/1996
Source: LexisNexis
Hopwood v. Texas (District Court Order Finding For Plaintiff and Closing Case) (999 F.Supp. 872) (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0002-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/20/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Hopwood v. Texas (Fifth Circuit Affirming Attorneys' Fees, Reversing District Court's Grant of Injunction, and Remand for Further Proceedings) (236 F.3d 256)
ED-TX-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/21/2000
Source: Google Scholar
Hopwood v. Texas (5th Circuit Denial of Petitions for Rehearing En Banc) (248 F.3d 1141)
ED-TX-0002-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/17/2001
Source: LexisNexis
Texas v. Hopwood (Supreme Court Denial of Petition for Writ of Certiorari) (533 U.S. 929)
ED-TX-0002-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/25/2001
Source: Westlaw
Hopwood v. Texas (District Court Order to Close Case) (2001 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10658) (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0002-0009.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/24/2001
Source: LexisNexis
Judges Davis, W. Eugene (W.D. La., Fifth Circuit)
DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Fifth Circuit)
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
Politz, Henry Anthony (Fifth Circuit)
ED-TX-0002-0003 | ED-TX-0002-0006
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (SCOTUS)
ED-TX-0002-0012 | ED-TX-0002-0013
Smith, Jerry Edwin (Fifth Circuit)
ED-TX-0002-0002 | ED-TX-0002-0006
Sparks, Sam (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0002-0001 | ED-TX-0002-0005 | ED-TX-0002-0008 | ED-TX-0002-0009 | ED-TX-0002-9000
Stewart, Carl E. (Fifth Circuit)
ED-TX-0002-0004 | ED-TX-0002-0006
Wiener, Jacques Loeb Jr. (Fifth Circuit)
ED-TX-0002-0003 | ED-TX-0002-0004 | ED-TX-0002-0006 | ED-TX-0002-0007
Plaintiff's Lawyers Harris, Paul J. (West Virginia)
McDonald, Michael P. (District of Columbia)
Mulloy, Vincent A. (District of Columbia)
Rosman, Michael E. (District of Columbia)
Scott, Walter J. Jr. (Texas)
Shea, Joseph A. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Smith, Terral R. (Texas)
Smith, Steven W (Texas)
Wallace, Joseph A (West Virginia)
Wheeler, Kenneth R. (Virginia)
Defendant's Lawyers Aguilar, Javier (Texas)
Anderson, Sarah L. (Texas)
Burgdorf, Barry D. (Texas)
Clark, Harley M. (Texas)
Hunter, Toni (Texas)
Issacharoff, Samuel (District of Columbia)
Owens, Betty R. (Texas)
Parsley, Julie C. (Texas)
Placek, R. Scott (Texas)
Reasoner, Harry M. (Texas)
Reeves, Beverly Gayle (Texas)
Spangler, Kathleen Bone (Texas)
Wright, Charles Allen (Texas)
Other Lawyers Byrd, Janell M. (District of Columbia)
Chachkin, Norman J. (New York)
Griffin, Anthony P (Texas)
Jenkins, Alan (New York)
Kauffman, Albert H. (Texas)
Maldonado, Javier N (Texas)
Vasquez, John R. (Texas)

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -